"Who turned the clock?!" It's incredible how quickly time flies. For one year we were able to accompany Emily and Dennis from near.so.far on their full-time journey across Europe. This is now coming to an end. Their last stop is in Portugal. Along the Atlantic Ocean, they will travel from the country's longest sandy beach to Lisbon to the artistic LX Factory and from there to the Big Waves in Nazare. We are very happy that we were able to accompany Emily and Dennis on the biggest adventure of their lives so far, that they shared the many great impressions with us and that we were somehow part of the journey.
Portugal's Atlantic Coast
Our first stop on the Atlantic coast of Portugal took us to the Alentejo coast. There we spent 2 nights on a free camper site. From the campsite it takes about 10 minutes to walk to the beautiful long sandy beach. The beach stretches from the former Roman settlement of Tróia to the city of Sines further south. With almost 50 km without interruptions, this is the longest sandy beach in Portugal.
Our next stop took us further up the coast to just before Lisbon. With the camper right by the sea and the cliffs in the background, just how you imagine a place in Portugal to be. A fantastic campsite with the beach as its front garden. We spent a few nights here and took the opportunity to go surfing, as the conditions were almost perfect.
Lissabon/ LX Factory
Looking at the famous bridge "Ponte 25 de Avril", you have to remind yourself that you are not in San Francisco, but in Portugal. A bridge that definitely leaves an impression. Once across the bridge, we parked our camper at the harbour to take a look at the LX Factory. A creative neighbourhood that was built on an old textile factory site in 2012.
Many parts were left in their original state and you can see the traces of the long-gone industrialization. In contrast - art wherever the eye can see. Colorfully painted facades and art installations. When strolling through the district, there is always something new to discover. Start-ups, various agencies, bars, cafés, restaurants and small shops have settled in the district.
There is also a special bookshop called "Ler Devagar" in the neighbourhood. Probably the most beautiful bookshop there is. Walls full of books on 2 floors and a floating bicycle. There is also a small café in the shop where you can enjoy your coffee with a view of the books. Every Sunday there is the LX Market. A flea market from 11am - 7pm where you can discover second-hand, vintage, music and art.
Info Lisbon:- Capital of Portugal
- Almost 600,000 inhabitants
- Oldest city in Western Europe
- Vasco da Gama Bridge, at 17km the longest in Europe
- Largest casino in Europe
After Lisbon, we continued along the coast again before stopping further inland for an excursion to the town of Óbidos. Óbidos is known for its well-preserved city walls, which can be walked through completely (but not without danger). It is also home to the best-known and oldest medieval market in the country. Since 2015, Óbidos has held the title of UNESCO City of Literature.
Nazaré. A place that is world famous for its huge waves, the Big Waves. The Big Waves can best be admired from October to March. The huge waves are created by a 5000m deep canyon that gets narrower and narrower towards the land - the water is pressed through this narrowness, creating incredible waves.
The world's biggest surfed wave of 26.21m was surfed there in 2020 by Sebastian Steudtner - which earned him an official entry in the Guinness Book of Records. With mid-March, we were unfortunately a bit late, but with waves of about 6-8m, these were already very impressive in relation to what we had seen so far - unbelievable what power the sea can have.
One last stop on the Atlantic coast of Portugal
A great pitch in a small town full of colorful striped houses. Behind the dunes is a beautiful beach with a long wooden walkway. Here we spent another two sunny days on the beach and recharged our tanks.
On and on towards home
From now on it's drive, drive, drive! We're heading back home with a few stops in between. It's crazy, after a year of full-time travelling, it's time for us to come home and see friends and family again. Back to our sublet flat, after 1 year in 6 sqm.
We are curious how the journey will continue for us.
Coordinates of the pitches:
- Camper pitch Comporta: 38.3047309, -8.7703574
- Camper pitch just before Lisbon: 38.6325423, -9.1555253
- Paid parking at the harbour (LX Factory): 38.7018133, -9.1728786
- Camper pitch in front of Peniche: 39.3253974, -9.3528903
- Nazaré pitch: 39.6127251, -9.0749102
- Pitch in front of Aveiro: 40.6107295, -8.7530160
Things that we as campers should pay special attention to:
- Leave pitches clean
- Support local services
- Be friendly to residents and tourists
- Park in 2nd row (give priority to day visitors)
- If possible, do not block the view, e.g. to the beach, with the large vehicles.
- Respect nature
- Do not permanently block parking spaces
To be continued…